Pair of antique cut glass perfume bottles with silver & tortoiseshell covers

Pair of antique cut glass perfume bottles with silver & tortoiseshell covers

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A pair of early-20th-century antique perfume or scent bottles with hand-cut glass bodies decorated with lattice and fanned flute panels, as well as sections of diamond pattern. There is a starburst cut into each base. The bottles have silver collars, hinged covers with tortoiseshell panels that are inset with delicate filigree silver decorations that are also hand engraved.

The technique used on these this silver jewel box is called piqué, where gold or silver is inlaid into another material. Despite being expensive, the use of tortoiseshell in the decorative arts was very popular in 18th and 19th century Europe. Not only did it have a beautiful mottled appearance and was durable, but it was also lightweight and could be easily fashioned into other shapes; jewellery boxes and tea caddies were prime examples.

Tortoiseshell is quite malleable when heated, so when very fine gold, or in this case silver, was fashioned into delicate designs and then pressed into the warmed tortoiseshell, the silver then cooled and the shell contracted to hold the silver in place.

Dimensions:

Height 105 mm / 4 "
Diameter 75 mm / 3 14"
Year

1916

Place

London

Condition

Excellent

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